Webinars, digital conference sessions, Zoom meetings and online happy hours are helping to keep hospitality industry education and networking alive.
This afternoon (or evening, depending on where you live), Rachel Harrison from Lion & Lamb Communications hosted a much-needed respite from our “new normal” during the New Travel Conference. Harrison tapped three talented bartenders and Campari America portfolio brand ambassadors to create a few classic cocktails that can be made at home easily.
Xavier Herit, Grand Mariner brand ambassador, kicked things off with the Grand 75. In a tin, combine 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice, a barspoon of simply syrup, and 1.5 oz of Grand Marnier Rouge. Add ice to the tin—Herit said to always make sure there’s more ice than liquid—shake, and strain into either a Champagne flute or coupe. Top with Champagne (roughly two ounces) and garnish with an orange peel, which will play nicely with the notes of the Grand Marnier.
Herit said that while you can use pre-packaged versions, fresh-squeezed lemon juice is always better. Just be sure it’s no more than a day old or oxidation will result in an imbalanced cocktail.
Trivia: The Grand Marnier bottle is shaped like a Cognac pot still. The more you know! Also, not all barspoons are equal. Herit said that his measurement for simple syrup in his barspoon was 0.18 oz.
Next up was Daniel Warrilow, a Campari brand ambassador representing the Italian portfolio. Warrilow tackled two classic cocktails so iconic they really should be referred to as legendary cocktails: the Aperol Spritz and the Negroni.
First up was the Aperol Spritz. Interestingly, Warrilow said that you don’t really need to measure out this drink with jiggers or other tools if what you have on hand is limited. However, the recipe on the back of a bottle of Aperol calls for three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, and a splash of soda. Garnish with an organge slice.
Warrilow then made a Negroni. By now, everyone should know two things about this cocktail. First, it’s made with three ingredients in equal parts. Second, the following phrase: “No Negroni Without Campari.” In a mixing glass, add one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part Campari. Stir with ice (about 20 turns), strain into a glass, and garnish with an orange slice or twist.
Trivia: Campari has been working on a Negroni Family Tree that features many variations, including the Old Pal (bourbon) and Kingston (Jamaican rum).
Finishing off this quick but refreshing happy hour was Anne Louise Marquis, who represents the entirety of the Campari America portfolio. Marquis made a Cadillac Margarita, also known as the Grand Margarita because it’s made with Grand Marnier. For this drink, we start with the cocktail glass. Cut a lime in half and rub along with rim of the glass, the roll the rim in salt (either entirely or partially, depending on preference).
In a tin combine 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice, 1/4 oz. agave nectar, 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier, and 1 oz. Espolòn Tequila Reposado. Add ice and shake until the tin is cold to the touch, usually when condensation is visible. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wedge.
Trivia: No, this isn’t where I claim to know exactly where and when the Margarita was invented, and by whom. People are still having that debate and I don’t feel like getting roasted. Instead, this is where I share that the Margarita is the most famous and most popular (read: highest selling) cocktail in America. Also, the Margarita is a sour cocktail modified by a liqueur, meaning it falls within the Daisy family of drinks. Margarita means “daisy” in Spanish.
There you have it! Four refreshing cocktails everyone should know that happen to work well for the Fourth of July, sweltering summer days, and hot summer nights.
Neither the author nor Hospitality Villains received compensation, monetary or otherwise, from Campari America or their affiliated brands, the New Travel Conference, Lion & Lamb Communications or any other entity in exchange for this post.
I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.
After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.
A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.